A Small, Sweet & Plant-Filled Apartment in Raleigh

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Close up of my window/main houseplant area. I think I have over 40 plants all in all. Same doorway that leads to dressing room/bathroom. (Image credit: Hannah Costner)

Name: Hannah
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
The basics: 2.5 years, rented — 385 square feet

Hannah’s adorable apartment comes complete with an enviable amount of sunlight, which she in turn uses to grow a ton of plants. Green mixes with pops of color and funky finds to create a totally winsome little space.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I live in an older building from the late ’30s that’s roughly u-shaped with a nice big courtyard in the center. It’s close enough to downtown to walk there, but actually pretty quiet here because of the plaster walls and the landscaping.

This is my favorite apartment I’ve ever lived in. Even though it’s small, the layout was really well-thought out, so I always feel like my place is pretty big. There’s a lot of giant windows, which has really fueled my plant-obsession. When it’s hot, I can open the windows, which are across from each other and get a decent cross-breeze going. I feel like I bring a lot of things in, but somehow it doesn’t feel cluttered, which is why people tell me it’s like Mary Poppins’ bag.

I’m lucky to have two closets, and was able to make the bigger one into a mini-office. That’s made a big difference, as it’s really nice to be able to keep my work hidden away at the end of the day.

What is your favorite room and why? The kitchen! It gets great light in the morning and the window over the sink makes washing dishes tolerable, as there’s no dishwasher. I actually really like that it’s small — makes cooking and prepping a lot easier as everything’s right at hand. Plus with it being smaller, it forces me to be careful/choosy about what I keep. Even if I had a bigger place, I’d still want my kitchen to be set up like this.

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? I’d definitely add a porch or a tiny balcony so I could have more plants. And maybe grow some vegetables, which would hopefully go better than the sad tomato plants I tried to grow inside this year.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The loveseat. For the longest time I didn’t think I could fit one in my place, but I really wanted some extra seating for guests. So I just got it and was like I’ll make this work. And it actually ended up making the space feel more put together and not crowded, as I had feared.

Which fictional character would be most at home in your place? Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle. And perhaps she could bring Calcifer along as well.

Hannah’s words of wisdom: Just get the things you like, whether they’re all the same style or not. If it’s stuff you really love, it’ll all work out in the end.

Thanks, Hannah!

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